Important New England scallop ground to be closed 11 months

Massachusetts
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FILE – In this Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011, file photo, scallop meat is shucked at sea off Harpswell, Maine. The state’s scallop harvest declined by about a third in 2018, marking the first time in several years that the valuable fishery has taken a step back. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Federal fishing managers say they are shutting down a key scallop fishing area to some boats for nearly a year.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says its closure will apply to the northern Gulf of Maine area. The closure goes into effect on Thursday and is scheduled to last until March 31, 2020.

NOAA says scallop boats that fish under federal regulations will not be able to fish for or possess scallops from the northern Gulf of Maine, nor will they be able to bring the scallops to land. The agency says the closure is required because the total allowable catch for the area is projected to be taken.

Scallops are one of the most valuable fisheries in the U.S., sometimes exceeding $500 million in value at docks.

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